Monday, 12 April 2010

Kenya: Those Amboseli Skies

Now that I have visited Amboseli National Park on the border of Kenya and Tanzania twice, I'm definitely an 'expert'. And I'm sure that even first-time visitors might agree with me when I say the park appears to be suffering from lost vegetation and animals. An extended drought had only just broken after more than two years so, although most of the park was quite green when we visited, it still seemed sparse. A lot of the trees around the Serena and Ol Tukai lodges were dying or dead and although there seemed to be plenty of surface water in the paddocks, there were not that many birds or water-loving animals in evidence. I'm sure a real expert might have a better idea why this is happening but the reason for my post is more to highlight what could be done photographically when there's no game to shoot. Look at the landscape or, better still, the clouds. Late afternoon light was fantastic on the days we were there and by 5pm the clouds had built up around Kilimanjaro dramatically. We stopped the van in several spots to shoot the landscapes, or rather a thin sliver of land dominated by towering cloud formations. Sunlight seeping under these banks of cumulus provided a delightful illumination perfect for straight shots (into the light) and some HDR work for the more dramatic illumination. The last shot is a view of the lookout in Amboseli park set against the more dramatic backdrop of Mawenzi, the lower of Kilimanjaro's two peaks.

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